Want to learn the craft of knifemaking by Purdey? Or how to carve out furniture at Howe?
London has long had a Fashion Week and a Design Festival, and now we have a Craft Week. In its 3rd year, Craft Week is a combination of imagination, individuality, passion and skill. It is a response to the renaissance in the appreciation of creativity and craft and fuses the very best in British and International design, emerging artists and luxury designers. With over 200 projects, Craft Week sprawls through the city, winding through London’s iconic buildings and influential institutions to low key and hidden hubs of creativity. Whether you’re in the market for luxury handmade Japanese porcelain, Vietnamese street food, or just wondering the streets taking in the culture, it’s a glowing week.
The aim of Craft Week is to let people experience beautiful things not just as abstract and static objects, but to experience them in the full context in which they were made. In this way, it draws the eye to the art of the craft. Even the most sublime objects seem more meaningful in this context.
Maybe you want to do something special. Famous British bespoke gun maker to the Royals, James Purdey & Sons are doing workshops on knife carving. Or, if you’re a tad more domesticated, Howe, the company of Christopher Howe – one of the world’s greatest interior designers – is teaching a workshop on furniture carving. There will also be plenty of opportunities to get a glimpse of the behind the scenes workings of some great designers, such as Vivienne Westwood, Hussein Chalavan and Mulberry.
We’ve singled out some of our top picks for this Craft Week.
In-house master watchmaker, Vacheron Constantin, returns for another year to showcase his latest collection, Métiers d’Art Élégance Sartoriale. The luxury brand will present their collection of outstanding, handcrafted, lustrous watches as well as giving an insight into the craft behind their products.
To celebrate the opening of British designer, David Mellor’s new Marylebone shop, a unique table setting has been created by some of the best craftsmen and women the company has previously worked with. The table consists of some of the best glassware and tableware forged to show what tables should look like in the everyday home. The table setting features some iconic pieces from the finest craftspeople as well as David Mellor’s signature stainless steel cutlery and kitchen knives.
This year Billy Lloyd will be launching his new collection of vinegar vases for Cult Ceramics at the Daylesford’s Pimlico road Farmshop. The modern vinegar vases are an interpretation of the traditional ceramic fermentation crock, designed to ease the process of vinegar making into our everyday routine, the event also includes demonstrations of the benefits and versatility of the new vases.
Leather designer Bill Amberg will be bringing together a selection of independent British leatherworkers for a showcase of the country’s oldest craft traditions. Through various demonstrations, displays and presentations the showcase will explore the techniques and applications that influence modern leatherworker’s craft and interiors. The exhibition will also be accompanied by a wide range of hands-on workshops and talks from some of the country’s leading leatherworkers.
Grand Designs star, Tom Raffield, will be revealing his light installation made from more than 70 sculptural steam-bent light covers that will cover the trees of Orange Square highlighting the skills and traditional techniques employed by Tom and the craftsmen in his workshop.
Self-taught jewelry designer Tessa Packard and manufacturer and jeweler Russell Hart invites Craft week guests to a discussion on the ways of creating bespoke jewelry. Both jewelers will share their expertise on the ways of jewelry making, from the concept to the finished product involving live sketching demonstrations by Tessa. The guests will also get an opportunity to design their own pair of bespoke earrings to be crafted later by Russell.
The Korean Craft and Design Foundation will present their ‘Between Serenity and Dynamism; Korean Ceramics’ exhibition. The exhibition will showcase work from the important ceramic masters of Korea and feature several collectible items on loan from museums. The event will highlight and explore the heritage of Korean ceramics and the contrasting difference and harmony of the traditional and contemporary forms of the ceramics making that exist in Korea. The exhibition will also feature work by the ceramic master, Kwangsu SEO and his new collection of large porcelain moon jars.
London based design studio, Native & Co will be presenting their ‘Wu: Five Oolong Teas from Taiwan’ exhibition which will be exploring the theme of ‘Wu’(伍), a Mandarin character for five whilst also celebrating the rich variety of Taiwan’s tea culture. The exhibition focuses on five different oolongs teas from five different regions in Taiwan, these will be paired with five native clays from the country. The exhibition will also focus on the combination of traditional brewing techniques with the modern-day methods giving visitors the chance to experience customary Taiwanese tea culture. The exhibition is supported by the Ministry of Culture, Taiwan.